Explore Groups

One of the most anticipated events at conference is the opportunity to explore and immerse ourselves in the art of the local host community. Austin offers an abundance of choices and experiences that are sure to entice people with interests ranging from contemporary and historical art tours art to hands-on art-making.


Explore groups are included in the overall conference registration. Spaces in each group are limited and are reserved on a first-come first-served basis. You must register for Transcend Biennale 2021 to reserve your explore group. 

Accessibility assistance is available upon request for most explore groups. Please visit the location website for their specific accessibility requirements or contact office@civa.org with questions. 


Texas State Capitol & Public Monuments Tour


From well-known heroes of the Alamo to lesser-known trail-blazing women in Texas history –  this walking tour explores their stories through the works of early Texas artists and architects displayed throughout the Texas State Capitol grounds. This group will discover the beautifully ornate capitol building and historic monuments, then enjoy the “Great Walk” along the grounds – including a path of black and white diamond-patterned pavement shaded by trees and a decorative iron fence. This explore group will be hosted by a Texas State Capitol Docent.

Limit: 35 participants

*Walking Tour

CIVA Arts Ministries & Galleries


Visit local CIVA member organizations and learn what they are doing in their arts ministry and gallery spaces. CIVA member Ben King will lead this group on a bussed tour with each stop allowing the group to learn, ask questions and gain perspective from arts ministries at various points in their experience. 

This is a great opportunity to learn what it takes to begin an arts ministry program and the possibilities of what a flourishing arts ministry or gallery can bring to a congregation, community and beyond.


Limit: 40 participants

Sacred Spaces: Austin's Historic Churches


Austin isn’t only 6th Street and music venues. This walking tour will focus on three of the most beautiful churches in Austin from three different traditions – Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox. The historic churches nestled amidst the profane exude a beauty that will leave you speechless. The architecture ranges from the gorgeously ornate to the simple and quaint, some with history dating back to the 1800s. No matter what style makes your jaw-drop, they are all gorgeous in their own way. Well-designed sacred spaces repeatedly evoke places where man encounters the divine. Each detail alludes to our Christian faith. Photographer Ted Eubanks hosts this explore group.

Limit: 40 participants

*Walking Tour

Austin's Public Art

6th street.jpeg

Austin is peppered with awesome art — sometimes in the most unexpected places. From the iconic “Hi, How Are You” mural created by artist Daniel Johnston to the “I Love You So Much” script on the wall of Jo’s Coffee, Austin’s street art is as varied as its music scene. Go ahead and put on a pair of comfy walking shoes and let a local show you the hidden gems!

Limit: 35 participants

*Walking Tour


Austin’s Mexico: Mexic-Arte Museum & Workshop


This group will begin the day with a tour of the Mexic-Arte Museum, including the Dia de los Muertos exhibit, followed by a hands-on workshop. Afterwards, this walking tour will explore the culturally rich Mexican-American community in downtown Austin with Sylvia Orozco, co-founder and executive director of Mexic-Arte Museum. In the 1870’s, Austin’s early Mexican population created a vibrant business and cultural community just west of Congress Avenue that stretched to the banks of Shoal Creek. Republic Square, which was then known as Mexican Park, was the cultural heart of the area.

Limit: 35 participants

*Walking Tour

Blanton Museum of Art & Ellsworth Kelly


This group will explore the Blanton Art Museum– one of the largest university art  museums in the United States, holding a permanent collection of around 19,000 works. The Blanton hosts a wide variety of pieces, with significant holdings of modern, contemporary, Latin American, and Old Master paintings, as well as Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin. Ray Williams, Director of Education and Academic Affairs at Blanton, will guide this group through Kelly’s immersive work of art and architecture as well as all that Blanton has to offer.

Limit: 35 participants 

Printmaking at Flatbed Press


This group will see and learn about the varied process of printmaking from Katherine Brimberry, co-founder of Flatbed Press. Prints from Flatbed’s files will be used to discuss print vocabulary and a variety of printmaking techniques. During the hands-on workshop portion, each group member will have the chance to try their hand at monotypes. The group will learn about trace monotype, reduction monotype, and direct monotype– then have the opportunity to make four small prints of their own!

Limit: 30 participants